Leisure and entertainment in Victorian and Edwardian Oxford

by Liz Woolley; this talk commences at 8.00pm.

In the mid nineteenth century changes in employment practices and rising real wages meant that ordinary working people found themselves, usually for the first time, with leisure time and with spare money to spend on recreation. All sorts of establishments arose to fulfill the new demand for entertainment, many of them aimed at keeping people out of the pub. This talk describes where and how Oxford citizens spent their free time, and how the middle classes attempted to impose ‘rational recreation’ on their working-class contemporaries.

Liz lives in Oxford and has an MSc in English Local History from the University’s Department for Continuing Education. She is particularly interested in the history of Oxford’s “town” – as opposed to “gown” – and in the lives of ordinary working citizens in thenineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

Liz has given this talk before just as the pandemic was starting. It seems sensible to repeat it and open it up to members who cannot attend meetings in Kidlington. It will be recorded but only available in the Members’ area for 14 days.

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